You know I’ve been pretty scarce on the blogs for a while now. Part of it was lack of time/motivation to write after work, and part of it was being pretty active on Google+. I always got more reader engagement on my social networks — first Twitter, then Google+ — than I did on my blogs, as much as I tried to “pimp” my blog activity (which admittedly wasn’t a whole lot). So it probably comes as no surprise that I chose to spend more time on my social networks thanks to a higher “ROI”.
But even though this is the case, I’m rather annoyed at Posterous shutting down in April. I moved to Posterous (while still cross-posting back to Late to the Party) because they had a very easy way of handling embedded media. WordPress.com required some workarounds to embed things like YouTube and other videos, and limited ways of handling photos. Posterous automatically and intelligently embedded whatever media you threw at it, even file attachments for direct downloads. They also had nice themes, and the ability to post via e-mail, which was even bigger for me than the embedded media handling. Why I can’t e-mail posts to WordPress.com (I still don’t think you can, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) is beyond me. Sure, there are mobile blog apps now, but sometimes a simple e-mail is all I want to deal with. And finally, they had some pretty great cross-posting features. You could easily choose an e-mail alias to post to all configured services — like Flickr, other blogs, Twitter, Facebook — or pick a subset of those services if you liked. Such a useful service, but I guess I can’t get that mad about them shutting down considering it was free. :-/
Well, whatever. It was nice using Posterous, but now I’m wondering where to migrate now. It’s probably a bit of a moot question considering I’ll likely still just post most of my content on Google+ as I’ve been doing, and only blog once every now and then. I sometimes have grand ideas of setting up my own blog on some service like Squarespace, or perhaps just becoming more active on my old Tumblr site, or reinvigorating Late to the Party, but because it’s easiest for me to peruse my social networks and RSS feeds and share these links directly to G+ via my mobile devices, I don’t think I’ll ever really throw myself into regular blogging again… But never say never.
I thought about making G+ my blog, since it kind of is already, but I don’t know. Part of me thinks that I shouldn’t consolidate all of my content on one service because the same thing that happened with Posterous could happen again. But I know that I’m not motivated enough to run my own personal server and host everything on my own.
Again, probably a moot exercise, but if you guys have any suggestions for a good blogging service (preferably one that’s low-maintenance), I’m open to them. In the meantime, please follow me on Google+. If you’re partial to Twitter, my G+ posts get cross-posted over there.
Sorry I’ve been so scarce for a while. I’ve been experiencing a summer slump of sorts, not really feeling in the mood to read much online, like my feeds in Google Reader, or keeping up with my buddies on Jaiku or FriendFeed. And before the summer slump, I was always on Jaiku and FriendFeed, essentially microblogging in a true sense. Frankly, I get way more interaction on Jaiku and FF about the RSS items, articles, and photos I post there than I do here. The almost instant feedback on Jaiku was fun and satisfying.
However, it seems now I am not in the mood to spend a whole lot of time on my social network sites, either. Part of that could be attributed to my wonderful Kindle that The Hubby got me for my birthday. I have enjoyed getting back into a reading mood with it! My relatively voracious reading of late reminds me of how much of a bookworm I used to be when I was younger, before Teh Internetz killed my attention span. **smirk** I also have been writing in my journal a lot more, partially because it’s a nice, inconspicuous way to kill time at work. And so I’ve been writing in my journal, even outlining things I’d like to blog about, but then never get around to actually writing the blog posts. Hence, not a lot of writing on the blog. I’ve been trying to supplement the lack of writing with pictures cross-posted from my Flickr stream, but that’s not really enough, is it, Dear Readers? So, I’m going to consciously make an effort to keep up with my RSS feeds again and post more, even if it’s just shorter, blurb-y posts that are more appropriate for Jaiku. All I ask in return is for a bit more commenting here so I can enjoy more interaction here as well. Deal? Okay.
Before I wrap this up, let me address the “…and a test” part of my blog title above. I am composing this post in the WordPress app for iPhone/iPod touch. I just downloaded it from the AppStore for free, and this is the first test.
Quick first impressions:
- UI is pretty good. When you set up your blog account, you can choose how many recent posts the app should display. I didn’t try it, but I assume this means you can edit currently published articles.
- It has an embedded browser so that you can preview your work. This worked pretty well when I previewed an older article.
- It has full access to your categories. It was pretty easy to scroll through the list (I have a lot of categories) with my finger, with the kinetic scrolling typical of OS X’s touch interface.
- It’s annoying that you cannot rotate the screen to landscape mode. Therefore, you can’t use the more comfortable landscape version of the on-screen keyboard. I don’t have as big of a problem with the iPod’s virtual keyboard as others do, but I still would’ve appreciated the “breathing room” accorded by the landscape keyboard.
I’ll see how well it works when you want to include pictures, or if there are any issues if you’re composing a post and you don’t have wireless access (you shouldn’t). But for now I’m going to wrap this up and upload the post. Later, Kids!
Testing out a new “ink-enabled” app on the iMac. It’s called Curio, by Zengobi. I actually read about this app on jkOnTheRun (thanks, Guys!). Curio is a notebook-type app that is quite similar to Microsoft OneNote. It has notebook-type organization, ability to clip information from websites, and insert other file types. But they also have mind-mapping functionality built-in, which is pretty impressive. A great combo of OneNote and an app like MindManager. I haven’t played around with the app very much, but I signed up for the extended, 60-day trial, so we’ll see how this works out.
Editor’s note about my last “quinkie” post: I composed and uploaded it from MaemoWordPy on my N810. The other times I posted quinkies, I actually inked them out and uploaded the pictures to Flickr from my 770, but then I went on my desktop PC to type up the description and post it to my blog from Flickr (for a few reasons that I won’t bore you with).
This time I tried out MaemoWordPy to see if it would properly upload the picture directly to WordPress.com, which other blog editors have screwed up in the past. It was a bit tedious to switch between MaemoPad+ and MaemoWordPy to type out the text “translation” of my ink post, but other than that, it was incredibly easy to compose and upload directly from MaemoWordPy. Very cool.
P.S. This post is also coming at you from MaemoWordPy.
Editor’s Note: I swear I didn’t read Dave Winer’s post about what he thinks the new iPods should be like before I first posted this, but it seems we agree. I forgot to mention that one of the rumors was that the new iPods would support digital radio. Since I bought an iPod and other media players so that I didn’t have to listen to lame radio, digital or otherwise, I could care less whether or not they had radio built-in. I never used the radio feature on any of my non-iPod players. I know some people like to have the option, but not me.
Sorry for the lack of blogging. No good excuses here, so I won’t try to give any.
This post is coming to you from my N95, my new Think Outside Stowaway Universal Bluetooth keyboard, and m.wordpress.com. I’ve been loving my N95 a lot, and hopefully sometime soon I will do a write up for how I use it, what accessories I have or need to buy yet, what apps I use, etc.
I’ve been enjoying doing more photography, as evidenced by the heavier emphasis on photo posts on the blog, from both film scans and the N95′s awesome camera. Hopefully soon I’ll get back into posting about techie stuff as well.
As many of you know, tomorrow Apple is having a special event, likely to announce new iPods. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next generation of iPods will look like. It’s likely that they’ll be running OS X like the iPhone does. And many are hoping (as am I) that the new iPods will be a lot like an iPhone without the phone functionality. However, I kind of doubt that if the next-gen iPod has WiFi (which it should), that you’ll be able to surf on the iPod as you can with an iPhone. I think that if there’s WiFi, it’ll be limited to syncing and/or possibly buying tracks directly from iTunes without a computer. I would like to be wrong with that prediction, but I think that they’ll leave the surfing capabilities as something specific to the iPhone, so that they differentiate it from the next-gen iPod. Otherwise, I can see the new iPods eating into sales of the iPhone.
As I’ve been saying on Jaiku and Pownce, I would absolutely buy a new iPod without hesitation if I could download podcasts directly to the device over WiFi. I do that currently with my N95, but its built-in music player lacks bookmarking, so it isn’t “perfect” yet. I liked the way the iPod/iTunes combo worked so well for podcast downloading/syncing/listening. But being able to download episodes without having to sync with a PC would be very cool. If they don’t want to give us that functionality, then I would like wireless syncing with a PC over WiFi. That would be the next-best thing.
Anyway, I am quite interested to see what else is announced tomorrow at Apple’s event. Other rumors floating about: iTunes Store for the iPhone, so you can buy tracks directly. Also, new “fat” iPod nanos, which if true, I hope they look better than the mock-ups floating around the internets. Perhaps Beatles music on iTunes. I don’t really care; flame me if you wish. **smirk** Perhaps a Yellow Submarine iPod, as Merlin Mann jokingly predicted a few months ago… Probably no news about MacBooks; I think it’s going to mainly be about iPods/iTunes.
What, if anything, are you hoping Apple announces tomorrow?
Okay, I’ve tried several times to write an “analog” ink blog w/ the intention of posting it, but it just hasn’t happened yet. So here’s one more try, posting via N95 to Flickr using ShoZu…
(If I like how this works, you might see more posts like this later.)
But sometimes it’s funny. Case in point:
It’s been a while since I changed my theme around. Some people like to keep their theme consistent, since it’s like their “branding”, but since I actually consume a lot of web info via RSS feeds, I often don’t see the original websites, so it’s no big deal to me. I suppose I see it as fashion and accessorizing. Anyway, since I don’t host my own blog, I don’t have ultimate flexibility in how my blog is presented. But WordPress.com does a pretty good job of making a decent variety of themes available to us, adding more themes now and then.
I saw that there was a new theme available, so I decided to try it out. I love the combination of red and black, and I like black and gray, so this theme is kind of a nice little mashup of those colors. Usually it’s difficult for me to find a theme that doesn’t make my ink blog posts look messed up, so imagine my happy surprise when I found out this new theme called Redoable Lite did not stomp all over my ink blog posts! Yay! I noticed a couple older picture posts from Flickr that I had originally manually reformatted (to make them look okay in my old theme) are a bit wonky now, but overall, no big deal. Great! I really like the modern look of this new theme, and the frames that it puts around images. Very cool. Also, the big quote marks that it shows in the background when there are quoted passages look pretty cool, like from a modern magazine layout. Love it.
P.S. I also just found out that a newer beta version of Windows Live Writer is available now. I’ll definitely have to download it, since the ink blog plug-in is what I use for my ink posts. Perhaps they have fixed the issue where trying to add category tags for a WordPress blog was not fully functional (the drop-down menu was truncated and therefore only showed a few category tags)… For other normal posts, I usually just use ScribeFire since I’m usually in front of a computer with a browser handy. It makes posting from Firefox or Flock very easy (yeah, I know Flock has its own blog posting features; I just am used to ScribeFire).
Powered by ScribeFire.
Leave it to Sumocat to tag me for “Meme of the Week”… Just kidding, it’s fun. Here are my 8 random things:
1. I’m going to a 12:01 AM showing of Harry Potter tonight and am very excited about it!
2. I just cut my own hair last weekend because I was fed up w/ how long & easily tangled it got.
3. Even though I still would love to have an iPhone, I’m perfectly happy w/ my Nokia N95. It is super awesome.
4. My summer TV watching has been dominated by DVDs of season 2 of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer & The Office (US version). The rest of my summer TV line up consists of recordings of Mythbusters & Cash Cab.
5. I just bought a bunch of cool t-shirts from Threadless.com to help fill out my pathetic wardrobe. Up next, jeans!
6. I’m having trouble thinking up other random things to write about…
7. I’ve really been into taking Polaroid pictures lately (yes, film!). I am in the middle of scanning in my July 4th fireworks pictures, duds and all, for posting on Flickr.
8. In keeping w/ number 7, I recently bought a Polaroid 680 from eBay, and it is sitting on my porch right now, having been delivered a couple hours ago. I wish I could go home now & get it out of the heat & humidity!
Well, that’s my 8. I don’t think I know anyone else who hasn’t already been tagged! Sad… *sheepish grin*
Just installed MaemoWordPy on my 770, and I’m trying out posting from it. This is pretty cool! I’ll have to get a BT keyboard now…
In random news, I’m going to see Harry Potter at a midnight showing later. Hopefully we don’t have to wait in line too long to get in. Already there are 7 showings at the AMC theatre that are sold out as of about an hour ago. The last time I was worried about waiting in line for a movie was around the time the second Matrix movie came out, IIRC. Am I dating myself by saying that? Perhaps there were a couple other movies that were highly anticipated, but the second Matrix movie is the one I remember.
That’s exactly what I exclaimed when I checked out my blog stats after realizing that jkOnTheRun linked to my N800 reviews (parts 1 through 3)… That’s because I saw this:
That’s pretty impressive, considering I’d been getting a steady flow of traffic from WOM World (a Nokia N-series-specific site) visitors ever since I posted these reviews, and hadn’t seen a spike in traffic that huge. Hello, jkOnTheRun visitors!
Programming note: at the end of part 3 of my review, I said I was going to post a part 4 that talks about the 3rd-party apps I tried out on the N800. It’s still coming; just got a bit distracted by a number of things. *sheepish grin* It probably won’t be nearly as long as the previous parts, partly because my memory of that part of the evaluation period is fading. Also, by the time I wrestled with some of the 3rd-party apps, it was near the end of my evaluation period, and some of my frustrations led me not to mess around with the N800 much by that point.
So, part 4 is coming soon.
For the past few days, jkOnTheRun has been giving away a lot of cool mobile tech to celebrate their 3rd birthday, officially May 10. Their 4th contest, going on right now, is for a really awesome bundle of moble tech — a Sony U71 mini-Tablet (it’s not technically a Tablet PC, nor is it technically a UMPC, but who’s checking? ) plus a boatload of accessories that would satiate even the most ravenous neophiliac…maybe. James and Kevin are being so generous! Isn’t the tradition that the one celebrating the birthday gets the presents?
Anyway, their 4th contest entails that readers find answers to a scavenger hunt list of 10 questions relating to personal stuff that James and Kevin have blogged about on jkOnTheRun, and then write a few words about how long we’ve been following jkOnTheRun and what we like best about the site. Well, I’d enter, but I’d feel bad about it, because the answers are already posted many times on the site in the comment thread, and I haven’t done any of the legwork to find these answers. But I thought I’d post my answer to their question 11:
I tried to think back to when I first found jkOnTheRun and as far as I can tell, I probably started reading it around the time I got my first Tablet PC back in November of 2005. Whenever I get a new gadget, I try to find all sorts of online resources to help me learn more about the gadget and what cool things I can do with it. So I’m sure that in the process of finding all the great Tablet PC websites, I found James’ (and now Kevin’s) site. All of James’ articles about how he uses his Tablet PCs and mobile tech gear really got me thinking about also adopting a mobile tech lifestyle, but I’m not nearly as busy as James or Kevin, so I don’t have nearly as much gear as they do. I just really admire James’ and Kevin’s enthusiasm for Tablet PCs and other mobile tech. Their positive stories about Tablet PCs and now UMPCs are refreshing compared to all of the TPC haters out there in the tech news world (already I’m starting to get all irritated again, thinking about their misguided rants against Tablets and UMPCs!). James and Kevin are two very good examples of people who actually use this stuff and know the pros and cons of the platforms.
I also started listening to Mobile Tech Roundup and On the Run with Tablet PCs around the time I got my M200. I’ve kind of fallen behind on listening to OtRwTPCs, but I listen to MoTR every week. I have to admit, though, that I tried listening to an episode of James and Kevin’s first (?) podcast from a long, long, time ago — The Tech Addiction Show — around the time I first started getting into podcasts, and I don’t think I even listened to the episode all the way through. I didn’t know who these guys were, and I think I might not have been interested in what James and Kevin were talking about at the time. Now that I think about it, I should go back and find those old podcasts and see what they were talking about then.
Anyway, I read jkOnTheRun daily, and I just like hearing James and Kevin’s spin on the latest mobile tech news. Engadget may mention some new Tablet or UMPC in passing because they’re obligated to, but James and Kevin delve deeper. And because I do try to maintain a bit of a mobile tech lifestyle, reading jkOnTheRun is like getting tips from the experts. Also, let’s face it: reading about all of the techie stuff James and Kevin get into, I feel better about my own tech addictions. And sometimes, their stories egg me into buying the same stuff; I have a Fujitsu P1610 because of all of the praises James has sung about it! I’ve corresponded with both James and Kevin, and they’re both nice guys. So not only am I checking up on a tech news site, I’m keeping up with a couple friends.
Happy blogday, Guys!
P.S. May must be a tech blogging month, because in the process of sifting through my old blog entries trying to find out any clues about when or how I found jkOnTheRun, I realized that I started my own blog on May 2, 2006. I missed my own blogday, oops. I couldn’t believe it’s already been a year! Of course when I first started, I didn’t intend for my personal blog to be a techie blog (and it still isn’t really). But since I’m such a gadget freak, I guess it’s hard not to blog about tech and gadgets I’m interested in.
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Thanks for stopping by!
Though it’s nice that I can use Jaiku to put together my Twitter feed
and Google Shared links, it ends up looking like crap in the theme I
chose. All of the headlines run together and there’s no clear
Wordpress.com so I can put a Google Reader “clip” of my shared links,
And maybe have another separate little widget for my Twitter feed,
but this particular theme doesn’t support more than one RSS feed in
the sidebar. Hmmm… I know, I’m using a free account, so I should
be glad for the features and themes I can use, and I am. I just wish
there were a tad bit more flexibility. I would rather not have to
move my blog anywhere else; I like WordPress for the most part. I
should think about setting up my own site, but I wanted to just blog
and not care about the maintenance, hence the online blog account.
Oh well, this grumbling will pass.
(note: looks like this didn’t upload via Blogmailr correctly the first time, so I had to redo it manually)
Interesting. As I was checking my Gmail, I saw this little ad at the top of the page for WriteToMyBlog, a web-based blog editor. I clicked on the link and it automatically brought me to webpage that has a standard-looking word processor interface. I'm typing out this post in the editor right now. Seems like an interesting service, especially for bloggers who don't like the web interface of their current blogs. A quote from the top of the page:
"WriteToMyBlog is a free web based word processor for your Blog.
Create Post Entries for your Blog from right here, completely free, no
membership required, can Post to multiple Blogs simultaneously, manage
your Posts, works with all major Blog programs, and is easy-peasy!"
If this works okay, it might be a nice alternative to use when I don't have my own computer with me (in which case I'd be using Windows Live Writer). Now, I just happened upon the ad, so if it turns out later that there are some issues with it, I'll post updates. For now it seems okay. Now to actually post…
Editor’s Note: As you can see, the post showed up successfully! I am editing it from WordPress.com to add this little note and clean up the category tags. What’s nice about WriteToMyBlog is that you don’t even have to sign up for the service. If you wanted, you could just bring up the site, type a quick post, and hit publish, upon which the site brings up a little dialog box for you to sign in to your blog service. You can save the login info, which would save a cookie to your computer, but you don’t have to. I wonder what their business model is…to get bought by Google or Yahoo, like Writely and other Web 2.0 sites did?
For those of you who view my blog in a browser (as opposed to using an RSS feed reader), you might’ve noticed that I changed the theme. I just saw notice of a new available theme called Icebuurg (or something like that), and when I tried it out, I liked what I saw. Finally, a theme that doesn’t make my ink blog posts look totally messed up. The one thing I don’t like about it at the moment is that all of my sidebar widgets end up at the very bottom of the page. So the shared articles from Google Reader (not that I’m aware of many people really checking this particular sidebar out) aren’t conveniently located to the side of my blog entries, nor are my calendar and archive links. Oh well… Compromises.
For now I think I’ll keep the winter theme up; I like it!
I’m actually surprised I’m not D-list…
Original link to the “bloglebrity” tool from JKOntheRun.
Wait, what? James isn’t president…too bad; maybe we’d have way more awesome Asian gadgets imported to the US if he were. Nope, he’s just giving a quick update for us on how the site is doing, and it’s doing quite well! 3 million visitors to date… That’s amazing! 4000 articles, plus 10 million different netcast shows (I’m kidding, there are “just” 3 — Mobile Tech Roundup, On the Run With Tablet PCs, and the less-regularly-updated JKOntheRun Audio Edition) makes James and Kevin busy guys. I don’t know how they do it!
Keep up the great work guys, and here’s to millions more visitors!
Pffff. If you visit my blog and notice missing pictures, please post something in the comment thread for that entry. Sometimes when I post from Windows Live Writer, the pictures don’t display properly. I try to tweak the HTML code if I notice a problem, and sometimes it fixes the problem. The weird thing is that I can view the blog post just fine from my computer, but if I try another computer, it still has missing pictures. And if I just refresh the page (on my computer or others), sometimes just doing that will fix the problem, other times it won’t.
I really don’t like posting via WordPress.com’s web interface (which I’m doing right now), and I prefer to use Windows Live Writer because of its ink blogging capabilities. I realize that Windows Live Writer has some funky HTML output, but I feel like WordPress should be flexible enough to take the input from WLW, since other blogs do fine with it. *sigh* I know there are other offline editors out there, but they don’t really work for me, for one reason or another. And none of the others have an ink blogging capability, which is important to me, even though it’s been quite a while since I’ve ink blogged.
Anyway, just venting. I’m fairly sure that WordPress won’t fix this, judging from the replies on their support forums regarding Windows Live Writer, so I’m just going to have to deal with it. It’s a shame, since I think WordPress is a lot nicer than most of the other free blogging services out there. I’d happily pay a subscription fee (within reason) if WordPress would just fix their finicky HTML rendering. I’d consider hosting my own WordPress blog, but I don’t think that would fix the problem, since it would still be a WordPress blog…or would it?
Test blog post from the MDA… Man, the web-based posting interface looks super ugly in Pocket IE! I either need to use a different browser, or hopefully find a mobile blogging client for Windows Mobile 5. Any suggestions out there? (Incidentally, using the slide-out keyboard for posting this entry isn’t bad…)
As I mentioned in my previous blog entry about the new changes to Google Reader, there is an option to share feed entries on a publicly-accessible site. Google Reader also offers an RSS feed for it. So I’ve added the RSS feed to my blog’s sidebar.
If you’d rather see the HTML version of the feed, check here:
Or, if for some reason you want to add the RSS feed to your own aggregator, here’s the raw link:
So at least if I am not able to blog about things due to busy-ness or laziness ( ), I can still share interesting articles with you guys this way. I’m warning you all right now, a lot of the articles are probably going to come from Engadget, Gizmodo, JKOnTheRun, or GottaBeMobile, so if you read all of those sites already, my “interesting links” feed will probably seem redundant. But I am interested in stuff beyond gadgets (shocking, no??), so occasionally other feeds will show up, like Moleskinerie, or DPReview, or perhaps even a link to a podcast or two.
Another warning, I may get tired of marking items for sharing at any time, but I’ll at least try it for a week or so, to try and add content for you all to check out between blog posts. Let’s see how the experiment goes…
Posting directly from WordPress’s web interface can be kind of a pain sometimes, for various reasons. So I’ve been investigating other alternatives. I tried Flock for a while, which actually wasn’t too bad. It was kind of simple and slightly limiting, but it did the job. Plus, since I used its built-in RSS reader (switched back to Greatnews for now, though), it was rather convenient. I switched away from Flock when its RSS reader started acting slightly funky; I might switch back…not sure. Flock, in general, seemed more responsive than Firefox (less bloat), but I had to switch back to using FF because I missed some of the extensions that don’t work with Flock.
Anyway, after Flock, I saw a blurb about Qumana on Lifehacker, so I tried it. But at the time I tried it, it couldn’t upload a picture to my blog, so I got rid of it. I know, it could’ve been just something weird with WordPress at the time, but I didn’t have the patience to try it again the next day; it didn’t have any features that particularly wowed me enough to stick with it.
Lifehacker has since posted a couple blog entries about different external editors. One of the commenters listed Blogdesk, and since it wasn’t among the top listed in the poll, I checked out their website. It seems pretty good so far; I really like the image editor
(the shadow effect on their logo above came from the editor ) [Editor's Note: Seems that the picture didn't upload correctly when Blogdesk posted the blog entry; I had to manually upload a copy to WordPress.com to replace the broken picture... Strike one...] and the tool’s layout. I’ll have to play around with it for a while to see how I like it.
The Performancing blog editor plug-in for Firefox also sounded interesting, so I might load that up and try it out in parallel.
It seems that a ton of people really liked BlogJet, but it’s not a freeware program, so it kind of ranks lower on my list of “to try” apps from the start. If I can find a freeware app that is just as good as a commercial program, or just good enough, I will usually go freeware. Stay tuned for my follow up on how well (or not) BlogDesk and/or Performancing works for me.
Uh…yeah. I looked at my blog from a computer other than my M200, and saw that the ink blog posts are ridiculously huge. I will try to go through and resize those back down to 400px wide. I’m going to have to play around with an ink blogging template for OneNote to rein in my ink posts.